As the planet continues to warm and extreme weather events become more common throughout the world as a direct result, sustainable business practices have continued to become a popular discussion point. And with predictions that climate change could become irreversible by 2030 if major action is not taken now. Scientists are urging everyone to take measures to reduce their carbon footprint, a summation of the measure of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds their actions create.
One of the most significant ways to reduce carbon footprint is to do it at the business level. In this post, we’ll discuss what a carbon footprint is, why it’s so important to reduce it, and some simple actions firms can take to reduce it. Here’s a closer look:
What is a Carbon Footprint?
Simply put, carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that’s released into the atmosphere by any certain activity or over a certain period of time. On an individual level, a personal carbon footprint may include emissions from your daily commute, what you eat, what you wear, the amount of waste you generate, and more. For instance, if you were to purchase a brand new wardrobe each season and simply throw away your old clothes, your carbon footprint would be higher compared to someone who subscribes to more sustainable ideals.
On a business level, carbon footprint is considered the amount of greenhouse gas emissions either directly or indirectly caused by a company’s actions. Things like power generation, transportation methods, how many goods and services are produced, waste generation, employee commuting habits, and more are all factors that influence the carbon footprint of your business.
Why is Reducing Your Businesses’ Carbon Footprint Important
Reducing a business’ carbon footprint is important for several reasons. For starters, greenhouse gas emissions are directly linked to a warming planet. This can impact changes on land and in the oceans. Storms can become more frequent and more severe. Weather extremes like heat waves and droughts become more common. As the oceans warm, polar ice melts, causing sea level rise and desalination of the seas. All of this can also have a direct effect on wildlife ecosystems, the ability to grow food, and more. In fact, many scientists believe that if the world doesn’t take drastic measures to reduce its carbon footprint within the next 20 years, the world will warm to unstable levels and pose a risk for everyone.
There are various other reasons to reduce carbon footprint as well. For instance:
- Doing so can often save money. If improvements are made to reduce power consumption or for a facility to become more efficient, it often generates direct cost savings.
- It’s good for business: It’s estimated that up to 78 percent of all U.S. consumers note that sustainability is important to them. Hence, taking steps to become more sustainable can actually be used as a marketing talking point and can potentially improve business.
- It’s good for the local environment: Aside from doing your part for the greater good to help slow the pace of climate change, taking measures to reduce your firm’s carbon footprint is likely to help contribute to cleaner air and cleaner drinking water in your specific area of operation.
Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
How can companies reduce their carbon footprint? There are several simple things that can make a big difference. Here’s a look:
Reduce Energy Use
Reducing energy usage means that you’ll be relying less on the power grid to fuel your company’s day-to-day activities. You can have a professional energy audit performed on your business that aims to assess your power draw and identify ways to reduce it. There’s usually not one big answer to reducing energy usage, but a lot of small things that add up to make a big difference. Some ways to reduce energy usage include:
- Installing motion-sensing lights that shut off after a period of inactivity.
- Installing insulation to eliminate drafts and prevent heat loss in the winter and cool air loss in the summer.
- Installing Energy Star appliances.
- Installing smart thermostats.
- Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs.
- Installing solar panels or wind turbines to complement conventional power draw with renewable energy.
Conduct a Utility Bill Audit
A utility bill audit is often done hand-in-hand with an energy audit. While an energy audit assesses a particular facility’s energy consumption, a utility bill audit assesses invoices to check for billing errors, inconsistencies, and more. It’s estimated that nearly 20 percent of all utility invoices contain an error of some sort – and these errors can add up over time. A good utility bill audit will be on the lookout for clerical errors, cost surges, rates, and more to check for any inconsistencies. After data is gathered, auditors will often work directly with the power company to correct any found issues – which can result in cost savings and also help a firm reduce its overall energy consumption.
Finally, there needs to be an effort to educate employees about what they can do to reduce their firm’s energy usage and thereby its carbon footprint. From turning off the lights when they leave for the day to shutting down office equipment and appliances to avoid any “phantom power draw” when not in use, it’s a whole bunch of little things that can make a big difference. You might also incentivize your employees for your efforts and share in any cost savings their actions create. From holding webinars or training events to posting signage around the office, think of how your firm can better communicate with its people.
Contact Green Line Rates Today
For more information on how companies can reduce their carbon footprint and to inquire about a utility bill audit, contact Green Line Rates today.